Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Barbarossa (red beard in Italian) was an admiral in the Ottoman Navy during the years 1515 to 1544.  He is still considered today one of the outstanding admirals in the country's history.  Hayreddin Barbarossa pirated the Mediterranean before aligning himself with the Ottoman empire.  His campaigns were very successful and under his leadership, Algeria and Tunisia were brought into the Ottoman empire.  A statue in his honor stands in a park named after him just outside of the Naval Museum in Besiktas. 
His mausoleum is also in this park.  He died in Istanbul in 1546.

Inside the Naval Museum, are several portraits of Barbarossa.  The navy was the earliest organization in Turkey to send officers for training in western painting techniques.  Prior to the age of photography, naval officers painted pictures of key figures, the fleet and battles.
This portrait of Barbarossa was done by Refek Aziz in the 20th century.

In addition to many fine paintings, the Naval Museum has ornamental wood carvings that decorated the ships.  These were all created in the ship building workshops.  Here are a couple of lions on display.

In this area of Besiktas, many businesses use Barbarossa's name, showing his continued popularity.  The library of the Bahcesehir Univeristy is named after him, ...
as well as a local cafe.

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